Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Different roles

I've had a number of conversations recently about what exactly I do in my current role.  I was employed as a teacher and then as a coordinator, but there are many other roles that it's necessary to take on to successfully transform student learning through technology.

A collaborator:  collaborative planning is at the heart of the PYP and I work with teachers to plan, teach and evaluate student learning.  My job has to start with being a collaborator - without this I couldn't do any of the rest of it.
A finder of resources:  often as a result of the discussions we have during collaborative planning sessions, teachers come to me with questions about how to do things and I try to find resources to help them.  As well as this I try to help them find resources to support student learning.  These could be YouTube videos, websites, Web 2.0 tools or apps.
An innovator:  as a way of carrying out the previous role, I often try out new things.  If teachers want to do something, I ferret out a few different tools or apps, try them out and report back to the teachers on which ones I think will be best suited to their needs.  I'm constantly looking for better ways of doing things.  I like finding creative solutions to problems that the teachers have.
A learner:  I love to learn.  Technology is constantly changing, and as I'm always saying "even if you are on the right road, if you sit down in the middle of it you will get run over".  I like to learn about new ideas, new ways of doing things and new ways of thinking.  I believe teachers should model lifelong learning for their students, and I think that technology teachers/integration specialists/coaches should in turn model it for the teachers they are supporting.
A provider of professional development:  sometimes I think that every lesson I teach provides professional development to the teachers, as if the technology or the tool or the app is something they are already familiar with then they don't need me in their lessons.  I'm only there to push the learning forward.  I've tried many different models of professional development, but the one that makes the most difference to classroom practice is one-on-one coaching.
A teacher:  I've put this one last as I think I'm gradually moving away from this, but in some ways it should be first as I spend more time doing this than any of the other roles mentioned above.  I work with students in their classrooms, in the lab and in the library to help them become digitally literate and responsible digital citizens.

Photo Credit:  More glowstick fun by Sharyn Morrow AttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works 

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